Norwegian director Stefan Herheim began directing operas with his own puppet theatre aged six. He studied cello while working as a production assistant at Norwegian National Opera, where his father played in the orchestra. He established an opera puppet company that toured Norway and went on to study stage direction with Götz Friedrich at Hamburg University of Music and the Performing Arts. He made his Royal Opera debut in 2013, directing The Royal Opera’s first production of Les Vêpres siciliennes and has since participated in numerous award-winning productions. Herheim’s many awards include the 2003 Götz Friedrich Foundation Prize for Opera Production for his production of I puritani (Essen). He was named stage director of the year by Opernwelt in 2006, 2008 and 2010. He has taught as a visiting lecturer at several European academies. From 2022, Herheim will take over as director of Theater an der Wien.